By David Swaden
You’ve met someone new.
After a lot of hype and build-up, you spent your first time together on Saturday, and my did it live up to the billing.
Sparks flew, the chemistry was electrifying and, despite a small blip where you dropped a bit of a clanger towards the halfway point, it was without doubt a very successful first date, which left you eager for more.
Of course, you last had something special seven years ago. In fact, many called it perfect. However, time soon caught up with the two of you and, slowly but surely, you drifted your different ways.
At first, you almost expect something just as good to appear overnight, however, after more than a few false starts, you’ve learnt to keep your guard much more, so you want to take this new experience with a pinch of salt, but there’s an instinctive feeling that makes you more excited about this than anything else since those long seven years began.
And then, before you know it, there’s Tuesday’s second date. Expectation is high, but perhaps because of that, things just dont flow as well. You’re still the same people and all the promising elements are still there, but for some reason, it isnt quite the same. Everything feels less natural than before and, whilst the encounter is still on balance deemed a success, there’s now a few seeds of doubt.
To a large extent, little external perks like the quality of the wine and the ambiance make sure the whole thing is a winner, and you know that you wont always get that lucky. But still, you remain positive about the chances of this and so have arranged to meet again on Sunday. This is the big one, (after all, you know what they say about the three date rule!). It wont decide anything completely, but it will give you a fairly good indication of where things will go.
Return to the magic of the first meeting, and you can start to really believe this could be something special. Experience the same disjointed encounter as Tuesday, however, and everything starts to look a little more bleak and you may well be left thinking that your seven year itch may go on for a while longer without a scratch.
Football translation – Southampton was a cracking match and a hugely exciting performance which got many of us dreaming. But Tuesday night was a significant reality check. We weren’t fluent and in all honesty probably didnt deserve to win, play like that on Sunday and we can expect to at best scrape a draw or else lose our unbeaten record.
Tiredness may be a factor from Saturday to Tuesday, but the gap now to Sunday leaves no excuse, so we should know an awful lot more about just where this team is after the match at Eastlands. By the way, I wanted to shoehorn something in about our long lost mate Jack, around whom good things just seem to happen, returning after a long period away.
Sadly, unlike him, I just couldnt carve the right opening, never mind. Back in the real world he is back in full training and we have a potentially world-class player poised to add even more competiiton to what is already a quality midfield. So on to our next date at Eastlands on Sunday, let’s hope we score, in every sense!